It’s hard to get some of my sons to read, but I took courage after talking with my school teacher aunt. She gave me some good advice and encouraged me to keep at it.
I’ve been wanting to have my son read The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Teenagers for a while now, but he’s resisted. I’ve learned not to take this personally as all teen boys live by two rules:
1) Never read a book unless your grade depends on it and
2) Never listen to your mother.
I was asking my son to violate both rules, and this was a lot for him to handle all at once.
I could just feel his pain, the internal struggle as he argued, “Mom! NOBODY reads in the summer. Why do you think they call it summer VACATION?”
“Why don’t we just read a few pages?”
“NONE of my friends read, and NONE of their moms make them read.”
“Don’t you want to be a highly successful teenager?” Silence. After some more cajoling and perhaps a bit of threatening, he finally started reading aloud
Welcome! My name is Sean and I wrote this book. I don’t know how you got it. Maybe your mom gave it to you shape you up . . .
We both started cracking up. It was like Sean Covey had been in the room with us the whole time and knew exactly what was going on. He seemed especially perceptive in his 2nd paragraph when he said:
A lot of teens read books, but I wasn’t one of them. So if you’re like me, you may be ready to shelve this book. But before you do that, hear me out. If you promise to read this book, I’ll promise to make it an adventure. In fact, to keep it fun, I’ve stuffed it full of cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world . . . along with a few other surprises. So will you give it a try?
I couldn’t believe it! My son was smirking and actually seemed to be considering it! We read the first chapter, and Sean told this funny story about how he really liked this girl only to find out that she thought he was fat. It’s so nice when you read a book and you can say, “Wow. This guy gets it.” My son was pausing at parts and laughing at other passages which meant that something was actually clicking for him.
It’s a few weeks later, and he hasn’t gotten much further in the book because our family does not have the habit of keeping track of things. But we are going to find that book today!
A side note: When my brother discovered my son was reading the book on the way home from a family reunion, he talked to my son for over an hour about the book and asked him what he thought about it. I don’t know if my son was exactly tuning in or not, but there wasn’t anywhere else for him to go. Hooray for uncles!
Want to see if your teen will like it?
What books have your teens enjoyed? Tomorrow I’ll post about a book that you will not believe he actually read.